Decades of working with athletes have shown us what works and what doesn't, and we've made it our passion to share that with you.
A common misconception about the word mobility is that it means someone is flexible. This is actually an inaccurate definition. To have mobility is not about flexibility, and it’s also not about strength - though both of those elements are components of mobility. It’s about range of motion. Mobility defined is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion, and for the body to be stable while completing that motion.
Just because you are flexible or strong doesn’t mean you’re stable. Picture someone trying to reach for an item and being off balance. While they can stretch their limb without pain, if they don’t have mobility, they are not stable enough to do it without falling or becoming imbalanced.
A lot of injuries can occur due to a lack of mobility. If you overextend yourself while working out, or even just doing day to day activities, you can become injured. Your joints can be hyper-extended, your tissues and muscles...
Functional movement is a phrase used by gym trainers and both big and small facilities. It’s a phrase I don’t really like because of the misconceptions about what it means. People will call something a functional movement class or exercise, and they use it as a buzzword, without explaining what functional movements are.
Functional movements are those movements that help us with everyday life. For example, an athlete needs to be able to bend, squat, run, leap, etc… These are all functional movements. A mom at home needs to be able to bend over to pick up her kids or squat down to empty the dishwasher. So a functional movement is something you need to be able to do in daily life.
Your functional movements are core-centric. A great example of one is the squat. This is actually a resting position. Interestingly enough, as children, most people are able to easily perform this movement. Then, as we age, we become less able to squat if we’re not...
In this post, we’re going to explore intermittent fasting. This is yet another form of dieting that has had a significant surge of popularity lately, but there are several things that people need to know about this way of eating before just blindly jumping in. With that in mind, here’s some real talk about intermittent fasting:
In the most basic sense, intermittent fasting is a form of dieting that consists of two periods - eating periods (also called feasting or feeding periods) and fasting (non-eating) periods. During the fasting period, you are not supposed to consume anything but water, or unflavored coffee or teas. Once you have consumed something other than these substances (usually 25 to 50 calories or more), you have broken the fast.
That is actually where the word breakfast comes from - it means to break the fast from the six to 12-hour window since your last meal the night before. Intermittent fasting increases the...
Aging is a fact of life. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just something we all do with time. As we age, our bodies change. One thing that starts to change within our bodies as we age, is our hormones. They can get out of balance, and as a result, we experience undesirable effects mentally, physically, and even emotionally.
Today, we’ll cover three hormones that have a direct impact on your body that you may not realize that you actually have the power to control. Those three hormones are insulin, cortisol, and vitamin D. Insulin is affected by the foods you eat. For example, people who consume a lot of sugar, carbohydrates and processed foods are more likely to have high levels of insulin. These high levels can lead to being pre-diabetic, or having type one or type two diabetes.
Cortisol is related to stress. When we are stressed, our body produces it to protect us. The problem is our body doesn’t know if the reason we are stressed is not about...
Let’s talk about the keto diet. It’s a popular approach to dieting right now, but is it the best manner in which to lose weight? Here are some fast facts related to it, that may help you decide if it’s right for you.
First and foremost, the ketogenic approach is like most diets in that it too, is quite restrictive. That is the literal definition of going on a diet – to restrict oneself from certain foods, caloric content, or number of calories for medical or weight loss purposes.
Believe it or not, the keto diet is not new. It’s actually been around for more than a century, and some doctors have even used it to successfully treat epilepsy. But, it’s important to note that it’s a very strict low-carb diet. The way it works is by changing your body’s fuel source.
Not only is it low-carb, it’s a moderate protein diet. While on the keto diet, you can’t consume too much protein because once you reach a certain...
You may have heard the phrase “what you think about, you bring about.” This is just as true for your diet and exercise regimen as it is for every aspect of your life. Your mindset determines how successful you will be in attaining your goals. Therefore, if your goal is to lose weight and get in shape, you need to be in the mindset of someone who is physically and nutritionally healthy. In this post, we’ll explore what that looks like.
Your mindset is not about the number of fitness classes you made it to in a week, or how many healthy meals you consumed. It’s about why you’re going to those classes and eating those nutritious options in the first place. Ask yourself, why do you want to eat a healthy diet and work out? If you're like most of our clients, the answer is that you want to look and feel good.
Once you have settled on the mindset of looking and feeling good, you can use that to dictate your future...
What is the most important factor in movement? If you come from a traditional fitness community, you might be tempted to say “strength”, or “power”, or even “motivation”. In actuality, it’s gravity.
Gravity is one of the first challenging forces we encounter as we grow up, since literally all movement is directed by it. Newborns trying to crawl, trying to stand, or trying to walk are facing it head on. Remember that movement, in essence, is the shifting of body weight in order to change from one position to another. What are you working against in order to complete these shifts in body weight? Gravity.
You can try to use as much muscular energy as you like, working only to bulk up and gain mass. But until you understand that gravity dictates all possible movements, you won’t be able to become faster, stronger, or more efficient.
So how can you harness the power of gravity and increase efficiency? One way is to watch and analyze the...
As people get older, they solidify; they’re set in their habits, and aren't likely to change in major ways. They hurt a lot more, they've experiences failures, and they've been through the ringer. They know what it’s like out there in the real world, and that a lot of it involves some level of fear.
It's understandable to have fear; we all do! It's human. It's ok to be comfortable, but not all the time. Not if you want to progress and remain healthy in mind and body, as we are meant for constant adaptation. It’s the expectation of fear that makes it so hard for people to alter their habits. People, understandably, have a tendency to prefer all things comfortable. This means that they also expect change to happen in their preferred comfortable circumstances. Unfortunately, this isn't how it works.
Our bodies and our minds were meant to adapt! It’s part of our biology! This is what I try to keep in mind whenever I develop training programs.
What are the...
I have a saying that I use in each of my classes: “Listen to the intelligence of your body”. Often, when we are engaged in physical activity, we have a tendency to misuse our vessel. Many of us still abide by the old adage “If it hurts, it works”, or “No pain, no gain”, pushing the limits of our bodies to a point of injury.
This is a terrible idea. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.
The key to knowing whether or not your movements are detrimental is being present with your body. During your classes, it should never be a case of going through the motions; you should always be paying attention to what your body is telling you to do, or to stop doing. You need to establish a strong neural-muscular connection to ensure each message your body is sending you is received and understood.
How can you strengthen this mind-body connection? Firstly, you need to leave whatever’s happening outside; thinking about conflicts, to-do lists, or even groceries can...
One of the most remarkable parts of traveling is the fact that wherever I go, it’s always the same! Everyone always needs similar things, since our bodies really aren’t all that different; mobility, strength, and above all else, consistency. The people I meet with have goals that are almost identical to those of my other clients, even though their fitness levels vary: they are looking to get better, and to be better. I’m there to tell them how to do that.
Wherever I go when traveling, I bring the truth with me. It’s the same philosophy I use in my everyday life, and at Total Balance; the factor that changes is intensity.
The seminars I present are broken down into 6 components:
Bio-mechanics: I show the group how to move efficiently.
Injury Prevention: Even elite athletes can get hurt doing what they do best!
Nutrition: You have to know how to fuel properly. For example, there are some major nutritional differences between people who focus on power sports,...